Leadership Toolbox: the Planning Cell

By | December 12, 2017

[December 12, 2017]  Good leadership means possessing a well-developed sense of planning ahead.  Not surprisingly it is also recognized in basic leader development that planning is the key to being prepared, good decision-making, and quality of life.  That is why the best leaders have a planning cell in their leadership toolbox.

This “planning cell” – or whatever name it may have – does not have to be a formal, fulltime team of planners; only the largest organizations can have dedicated teams of planners.  But the idea is to have a team of intelligent, innovative folks to look ahead and being planning to avoid identifiable obstacles, developing customer needs, or foresee how the organization may need to change.  The more intellectually diverse the group and knowledgeable in the organization the better chances of success.

Information from this planning cell should go straight to the most senior leader; the one who first established the need for it.  That person would have given the planners some additional guidance and parameters in which to work.  Communication between the planners and the senior leader is crucial for the cell of planners to continue to provide a good return on the investment in time and money for them.

German Professor Peter C. Dienel wrote that planning cells are beneficial for individuals participating in the cell, for policy creation (or for any mission given), and for society as a whole.  In his many works, he showed that there are both advantages and limitations to planning cells when they use the deliberative method.  Planning cell members, as typically practiced, are only responsible for designing recommendations for the senior leadership and not for implementing it.

When leaders look for ways to advance their organization, dedicating time and resources to planners is worthwhile but only when given proper guidance and mentoring.  These cells are often temporary – as they should be to avoid “going native” – and provide value across the spectrum of any organization to which they are responsible.

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[Note:]  I have a small mini-series on Leadership Toolboxes here at theLeaderMaker.com.





Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.